It’s Friday … Have a Drink: Orleans

orleans cocktail
It’s Friday … Have a Drink: Orleans
Our weekly recommendation.

I received a lot of cocktailing items and ingredients for Christmas this year, which is awesome. My wife, in particular, went all-out, buying me several things but also hand-crafted a few more. One of the items she made herself: cranberry liqueur! I’ve included the recipe at the bottom, if you want to give it a shot. It’s pretty simple, and very tasty. It’s also worth noting that you can easily adapt that recipe to produce a variety of fruit liqueurs.

The drink ends up being a vibrant reddish-pink, thanks both to the cranberry and the Peychaud’s bitters. It’s not sickly-sweet, though, and the herbal liqueur and dry vermouth give it a nice depth of flavor.

Oh, and I named it after a town in Cape Cod which produces cranberries!

Combine all ingredients in a pint glass over ice and stir thoroughly. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with an orange twist.

Cranberry Liqueur

  • 2 Cups Vanilla Sugar
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 2 Cups Vodka
  • 1/2 Pack Fresh Cranberries (about 6 oz. by weight)
  • 1 Vanilla Bean

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves. Add the cranberries and the vanilla bean (split), and cook on low for 20 minutes. Kill the heat and let cool to room temperature, then strain through cheesecloth (this will be a slow process). Add the vodka to the resulting liquid.

Store in an airtight container for two weeks, then strain through cheesecloth a second time to get rid of excess pectin from the cranberries. It’ll look like gelatin — don’t worry, it’s not harmful. Let the result age for another two weeks, and it’s good to go.

This article is a modified and enhanced version of a post that ran on my nightly cocktail blog, DrinkShouts.

author bio image

Christopher Buecheler is a novelist, a web developer, an award-winning amateur mixologist, a brewer, a guitarist, a drummer, and an NBA enthusiast. He lives a semi-nomadic life with his wife and two cats, currently residing in Providence, RI. You can learn more at his website,